15 September 2017
A Lancaster University statistician has been awarded a Distinguished Professorship in recognition of his outstanding achievements.

Professor Jonathan Tawn has been leading the international statistics agenda in extreme value methods for the last 25 years. He has had a profound influence on the understanding, modelling and inference of the dependence between extreme values, and led to the incorporation of scientific context into the modelling of extremes.

He is recognised as a world leader in delivering real-world societal impact from statistical research. His work has helped optimise the design of UK coastal flood defences, determined the cause of the UK’s biggest shipping loss and contributed to global standards for shipping strength – helping to save lives.

Other impactful work by Professor Tawn includes optimising the design of offshore oil rigs, helping inform the insurance industry of flood risks and working with Government on the National Flood Resilience Review.

Alexander Belton, Head of Department at Lancaster University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, said: “Jon is held in high esteem as a colleague, a statistician and a leader, within this department, the UK and internationally. This appointment is a well-deserved mark of recognition, and also serves to demonstrate the excellence of Statistics at Lancaster.”

Professor Tawn was the inaugural winner of the Royal Statistical Society’s (RSS) Barnett Award in 2015, for his outstanding contribution to the field of environmental statistics. He has also received the RSS’s Guy Medal in Bronze and served as a Vice President of the RSS.

Professor Tawn is also co-director of the highly successful Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Centre’s (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistics and Operational Research in Partnership with Industry, STOR-i

STOR-i has produced a globally recognised step-change in industrially engaged statistics and operational-research training.

Professor Tawn, who has also been Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Lancaster for two terms, has trained more than 30 doctoral students and has received Lancaster University’s Prize for Doctoral Supervision.